Three more buses transporting asylum seekers from Texas to Los Angeles arrived at Union Station Friday. It's the first time three buses have arrived in one day, said the L.A. Welcomes Collective.
"This was the first time in Los Angeles that we had buses arrive without any advance notice that they were coming," said Yliana Johansen-Méndez, associate director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef.)
About 109 asylum seekers arrived from Del Rio and Brownsville, and roughly 35% are minors, according to the collective, which also said some of the migrants reported not having needed access to food or bathrooms.
"I got to talk to many of the families. Some children hadn't gone to the bathroom in hours," said Gloria Cruz, policy director at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA.) "It's disgusting what this governor is doing, and trying to do this type of political stunt here in our city. We're going to say no to those kinds of stunts."
A total of 19 buses have arrived in L.A. since the middle of June.
"I think this is happening at a time where we are being challenged as a community, as a city, and as a nation. We're seeing this happen not just in L.A. but also other cities, including in San Diego, where our teams are also helping respond in a very similar way to the immigrants who are being dropped off in their communities as well," said Johansen-Méndez.
The collective's efforts include daily support for a wide range of migrant communities, not all arriving by bus from Texas.
"We don't have any chaos here in L.A. We're here ready to respond to be able to support individuals' humanity and welcome them here with dignity and the respect they deserve after the long journey they've had to get here to our city," said Cruz.
As presidential campaigns and local elections are underway, immigration - including the arrival of migrants by buses from Texas - is a topic candidates will be discussing.
"I think that we've seen in various campaigns how immigration is used as a as a wedge issue, as a issue to divide," said Martha Arévalo, executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN.) "We work with facts, with realities, not lies."
While the arrival of three buses in one day is a first, the collective said it's too early to tell if it will be a trend. However, they stressed the LA County community has stepped up to provide support to sustain the operation.